Sunday 28 February 2021

February WIPocalypse SALs and some Pie


WIPocalypse is hosted by Measi's Musings

Each month we have to share the projects we want to complete before the End Of The World.  Since 2011 I have chosen a number of projects to focus on that year, starting with my "11 in '11" and increasing to "21 in '21" for this year.  This month I stitched on 6 of them and had 2 finishes, plus a goal met for the year.  Because the two blocks on the Joan Elliott SAL stitched up so quick I might extend that goal to all four small blocks.

2. Samplermakers Spring Challenge - A Finish
stitched on 28 count Slightly Lilac evenweave from Sparklies

3. Joan Elliott Faces SAL - Goal Met
stitched on 28 count Snapdragon evenweave from Crafty Kitten

5. Nora Corbett Gathering Eggs
stitched on 35 count Vintage Country Mocha Linen

10. Stoney Creek 12 Days of Christmas
stitched on 32 count Lime Green Linen

11. Carriage House Samplings Halloween at Hawk Run Hollow
stitched over 1 on 25 count Cassia Rose evenweave from Chromatic Alchemy

14. Hands On Design Scary Apothecary - A Finish
stitched on 28 count Radioactive linen from Chromatic Alchemy

The full list can be seen here - WIPocalypse and 21 in 21

Measi always gives us a topic to discuss too.

February - What stitch-a-longs (SALs) are you participating in this year?

I have these blog-based SALs as well as the WIPocalypse

The People's Choice - posts on the first Saturday of each month - theme in sidebar
Fully Finished Gallery - show anything you have FFO'd on the 10th
Gifted Gorgeousness - post anything gifted on the 15th
Smalls SAL - last Friday of each month
The TUSAL - post on the New Moon each month

I am also taking part in WIPGO on Facebook as well as two Christmas Ornament SALs - one from Just Cross Stitch and one from The Gift of Stitching.  In addition I host a Just Nan Sampler SAL every 2-3 months on the JN FB group.  We are currently stitching Winter Blues and will move on to Nan's Garden on 1st April.

Rachel and Tiff are organising Mischievious March this year which I have decided will be renamed The March of the Mischievious Mice as I will be stitching four different Just Nan Mice.  I have kits for three and the chart for the fourth.  Luckily I managed to source some tails and butts from eBay!  I must add they were not marketed as Mouse Butts.

Now for Pie:

Look at that, all WIPocalypse projects!  How disciplined.

Finally, something which is not so disciplined - my Stitch from Stash figures!

But I checked the calendar and saw that Mother's Day is only two weeks away so the charts will be my present.  Thanks son!

Friday 26 February 2021

February Smalls

The Smalls SAL is hosted by Mary's Thread

This year my Smalls will be the Stoney Creek 12 Days of Christmas 2019 Ornament series which I started on Boxing Day 2020 for the 12 Days of Stitchmas.

February was the Two Turtle Doves:

stitched on 32 count Lime Green evenweave

I added February to my Tiny Modernist calendar: 

stitched on 32 count Summer Sky Belfast linen from Silkweavers

I completed my Just Cross Stitch Ornament which was an Autumn Lane Stitchery design called Santa Claus:

stitched on 28 count tea-dyed evenweave

I stitched him as charted including the different strands of backstitch.  For some of the bs they use 2 strands and for some only 1 strand.  It gives a bit more depth to the outlining.  I love the way the fabric looks, I was going for a "white icing on gingerbread" effect.

My second Christmas Ornament for the month comes from the Gift of Stitching magazine, the November 2009 Christmas Ornament Special.  Another Rosewood Manor design called Quaker Diamond Noel.  I am very close to finishing this one, just a few more beads to be added.  So here's a sneaky peeky:

stitched on 32 count Reed Green linen

Finally, the stitchy face of Facebook is a'changing!  Stitch Maynia the group is being archived after the final Maynia (in May, funnily enough!).  Started in 2015 to host the Maynia Marathon it has been very successful but the two admin can no longer devote their time to the group and rather than see it go off the boil they have decided to quit while they are ahead.  There are obviously loads of groups on Facebook (I admin a few amazing ones) but they tend to be quite specific which I prefer.  One designer, one theme or one SAL.  But I have joined a new general stitching group set up by Measi who runs WIPocalypse - you can find it here, but be prepared to 

Monday 22 February 2021

February IHSW


IHSW or International Hermit and Stitch Weekend always starts on the third Friday of the month.  It's a chance to lock yourself away and focus on your stitching for the weekend.  You can take part on your blog or via the Facebook page - IHSW on Facebook.

Having completed my WIPGO choice on Thursday, I decided to dedicate IHSW to Number 6 on my board which was called and worked on in January.  I knew I could finish it this month.

Here is the Spring Sampler started back in 2012 when I joined a forum called Samplermakers.  They gave us a selection of motifs to arrange into a sampler.  I charted it out and started stitching, got the fence, the plant pot and the right hand tree done and there it stopped.  I just stalled on the left hand mirrored tree.  I pick it up every Longest Day Marathon and work a little bit on it.  I decided this year that it really needed to be off the list and completed.  Voila!

stitched on 28 count Slightly Lilac evenweave from Sparklies

The year was easy to update, I'd charted it for 2012 so all I had to do was swap around the 1 and 2 and make 2021!

Hoping it will fit a standard frame and I can display it this Spring.

I used the Tiny Decision app to decide what to stitch next and Gathering Eggs came up.  Started back in 2017 but never a real focus piece so on the list for this year.  I completed the girl herself and now just have the background to do.

stitched on 35 count Vintage Country Mocha linen

I decided to stitch the background in just one strand so the figure stands out more.  2 strands is quite dense on 35 count but the coverage is fabulous.  I'm going to work on her until the end of the month.

I started a new bath-time project, another ornament from the Gift of Stitching magazine series.  This one is Quaker Diamond Noel from November 2009, another Rosewood Manor design.  I have completely changed the colour scheme so it co-ordinates with my other ornaments.

stitched on 32 count Reed Green linen

There will be some bright red and some gold beads added as well as these two greens.

Finally, the next IHSW will be 19th - 21st March so make sure you note the date in your diary or come and join us in the Facebook Group - IHSW on Facebook. If you don't do Facebook then you can check in here by leaving a comment on my post.

Thursday 18 February 2021

WIPGO Weekend Wins

Q: What is WIPGO?

A: It's like Bingo for your WIPs.

The idea is to make a board with 25 squares, add a goal to each square, each month the Admin call 2 numbers and you try reach those two goals.

When you complete a row or column, you can reward yourself with something nice.  A new start?  A new chart?  An uninterrupted afternoon of stitching?  Your choice.

This was my board at the start of the month:

The numbers called for February were 4 and 20.  But first I worked on number 13 from January and completed Cackle Lozenges by Hands on Design:

stitched on 28 count Radioactive Linen from Chromatic Alchemy

Then I turned my attention to a new start, number 4 - Hallowe'en at Hawk Run Hollow by Carriage House Samplings.  I got a good chunk of Block 7 done:

stitched over 1 on 25 count Cassia Rose evenweave from Chromatic Alchemy

I'll carry on with this one, when it comes up on WIPGO or on my Tiny Decisions wheel.  I can't tick the box off until I complete this block.

Number 20 was next, a complete success as the goal was to complete one small block.  The dragon only took 3 days so I decided to continue with the owl at the top.  This block was one of the reasons I stalled with this design back in 2014.  It was charted for a rather chonky cat which I didn't love.  But I didn't know what to put instead because it was a mystery SAL.  So I left it.  People used various ideas and this owl was popular.  He took 4 days to complete, including his beads:

As with the dragon I stitched the background with one strand of thread which gives it a slightly softer look.  I did the wings on the Fairy the same way, they look almost transluscent with the fabric more visible.

stitched on 28 count Snapdragon Jazlyn from Crafty Kitten

As it only took a week to stitch both small blocks, I am revising my WIPocalypse goal to all four small blocks this year.  The other two will be stitched next time this comes up on my WIPGO board.

The next project in my rotation will be number 6 from January  - Spring Sampler.  I hope to get that finished well before the end of the month so I have time to fit one more project into February.

Finally, a progress photo from my Just Nan band sampler SAL.  We are currently stitching Winter Blues and I have just finished Bands 11 and 12:

stitched on 28 count White Jobelan

We are currently choosing the next sampler from a shortlist provided by Leonore.  So if you're a JN Junkie, do look for the poll and join us.  There's also going to be a Mouse-a-long organised by another member of the group.

Monday 15 February 2021

Gifted Gorgeousness February Link-up Post

Welcome to the February Gifted Gorgeousness link-up.  The link-up date continues to be the 15th and I will keep the link-up open until the end of each month so you have plenty of time if you are late posting.

The format remains exactly the same, there is a list of rules on the main sign-up page if you want to check what is required but basically anything connected to the word "gift" is allowed, whether it was a gift TO you or is a gift FROM you.

Deb sent me the charts for the Stoney Creek 2019 Ornaments which were my Stitchmas project this year.  I started all 12, one per day and will be completing one per month.  February was the Two Turtle Doves:

stitched on 32 count Lime Green evenweave

This little design was the Cover gift from Cross Stitcher magazine, a calendar from Tiny Modernist:

stitched on 32 count Summer Sky Belfast linen from Silkweavers

The Stitchonomy Winter SAL was a fully finished item, the kit was a gift:

stitched on 14 count Riveria Aida

The WIPGO Board chose Joan Elliott's Faces SAL, the fabric for this was a gift from Dawn of Crafty Kitten.  I planned to stitch as much as I could for the WIPGO Weekend and actually finished the little dragon, all except his beads!

Here is the whole piece so far:

stitched on 28 count Jazlyn in Snapdragon by Crafty Kitten

The beads will be added when the Small Boy is back in school next week!

Now it is your turn to show us your Gifted Gorgeousness for the month.  Please use your name or your blog name in the field and NOT the words "February Update" so I can easily see who has linked up this month.  And link to the actual post, not just your blog.  It is easier if you copy and paste the link, rather than typing freehand.



Finally, thanks to everyone who took part in the Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop.  I do hope that you found your sweetheart and also that you discovered where your stitching went!  The next Blog Hop will be the Easter Treasure Hunt and I will start taking sign-ups at the end of this month.

Sunday 14 February 2021

Secret Stitching Sweetheart Blog Hop

Happy Valentine's Day and welcome to the Secret Stitching Sweethearts Blog Hop.  My annual chance to show some stitchy love to our fellow stitchers.  Over the last month my inbox has been filled with various lovely stitched and crafted pieces on the theme of Love and Friendship.  On Friday I sent out them to randomly allocated participants who will be showing their Valentines on their blogs today.

Please hop round and see if they have found their Secret Stitching Sweetheart yet.  The following blogs are participating this year:

As the organiser of the Hop I don't get a secret sweetheart but sometimes I still get some love!

One participant sent me a close-up of her full piece.  See if you can work out who got the full piece and who the stitcher was as you hop around.

Finally, don't forget to leave some lovely comments on all the participating blogs, share the love!

Thursday 11 February 2021

February TUSAL and my Stitching Library


It's TUSAL time!

Here is my TUSAL tin with my current project:

This was a new start last Friday called for by my WIPGO Board - Hallowe'en at Hawk Run Hollow from Carriage House Samplings.  I have loved the HRH designs since I first saw them and said "if they bring out a Hallowe'en one I will stitch it".  So here it is:

stitched over one on 25 count Cassia Rose from Chromatic Alchemy

You can see from the cover photo that the finished piece is quite large so I wanted a high count.  It was either 40 over 2 or 25 over 1.  Using 25 count meant I could buy a standard 18 x 26 cut and have a nice margin for framing.

I am using DMC as charted but I might use a subtle variegated for the pumpkin in this block and the one next to it.  Some of those blocks are full-coverage so this is a long term project.  Ideally  I'd like to get four blocks completed this year.

What's on my Shelf?

This is a new feature I'm going to include on my TUSAL post until I run out of books!  I started a Page on my Happy Dance blog for my Stitching Library and realised what a huge task it was so decided to break it down to one book per month.  For the next four years...

The first book we are going to look at is one I've used a couple of times for small designs.

Title: 365 Tiny Cross Stitch Designs
Author: Kooler Design Studios
Publisher: ASN Publishing
ISBN: 035409937329 or 9780881959437

Actually, there are 366 because they give you a leap year design too!  There are several monthly series within the book (Zodiax, teapots, wreaths) as well as various season stitches.  Mostly in the "cute" vein.

I love these mini samplers, Vickie has stitched these for her cubby which inspired me to buy the book

So far I have stitched the Zodiac signs for myself:

and these Bride's Tree Ornaments for Leonore and Felix:

Those were not actually a series, I just picked various designs from throughout the book to suit the theme for each ornament.  You can read more about them on my blog post - Bride's Tree Ornaments

Hope you enjoyed this look at a book, if you have one you would like to share please make a post and leave a comment letting me know.


Finally, I have all the photos from the Secret Sweethearts so I will be sending them out tomorrow ready for our Hop on Sunday.

Wednesday 10 February 2021

Finally Fully Finishing Fun for February

Hosted by Rachel the Ten Hour Stitcher

This SAL is designed to motivate us all to do something with that box of Finished pieces instead of just storing them under the bed.  We will all be linking up on Rachel's blog on or after the 10th of each month (10 Hour Stitcher - 10th of the month).

Since last month I haven't had a lot of finishing time as my son is only in school 3 short days of the week and I try to cram as much into those hours as I can!

I did finish this lovely ornament from the November 2008 Gift of Stitching issue.  Designed by MTV Designs and called Treasure Christmas Pincushion:

stitched on 32 count mid-green linen

The backing fabric is an upholstery sample

I finished stitching the Stitchonomy Winter SAL and fully finished it almost immediately.  I had this reindeer hanger in my stash from a couple of years back.  It had the letters XMAS hanging down but those were easily cut off and ribbon attached so it made the perfect hanger for Winter.

stitched on 14 count Riveria Aida

I'm not an Aida stitcher usually but I got the kit and it was such a beautiful colour I decided to go with it.  It did make finishing much easier as it is stiff enough not to need stretching or lacing.  I just used double-sided tape to fix it to a piece of card.  Nice and easy to follow the threads to fold it perfectly straight too.

Here are some close-ups of each section:

The charm and the pom-pom trim came with the kit as did all the DMC

This was the final Stitchonomy SAL for 2020 and was free if you signed up before the deadline.  Now you can purchase it from the Etsy store - Stitchonomy Etsy

The next SAL will be the Homely Houseplants Version 2 - if you want to grab that for free, make sure you sign up on the website before the deadline - Stitchonomy website

The design was very appropriate because we've had quite a bit of snow here this week.  Enough to shut the schools for two days which further cut down on my finishing time.  So the next piece is not quite done yet.  Here's a hint for next month!

Finally, it's the TUSAL tomorrow and a new feature on my blog which I am quite excited about.  And then the Valentine Hop at the weekend.  It's all go here!